I don’t know why i hesitated to write this post (maybe for greater understanding of the vision itself), but i did and for that i am sorry.
Last week one morning during my devotions i was struck by a vision. The context for this vision came out of the vision Daniel interprets for King Nebuchadnezzar in Daniel 2. Nebuchadnezzar has a dream where he sees a huge statue with different levels of metals. Daniel writes in 2:31-33:
You, O king, were watching; and behold, a great image! This great image, whose splendor was excellent, stood before you; and its form was awesome. This image’s head was of fine gold, its chest and arms of silver, its belly and thighs of bronze, its legs of iron, its feet partly of iron and partly of clay.
Daniel goes on to explain that the different levels of metals represent different kingdoms that will rule and conquer throughout the next little while.
In my vision last week, i saw this same image; a giant statue with different levels of metals. But that is where the similarity ends. My vision did not include any kingdoms that would come and rule or anything like that. No, the vision i had revealed to me America’s Idol. Before i continue on let me add one word of explanation: When i use the word ‘America’, i do not speak simply about The United States of America. When i use the word ‘America’, i am referring to the whole of North America. I am speaking of the Western world. For example, when i pray, “Jesus, i plead your blood over my sins and the sins of my nation. God, end abortion and send revival to America,” i am not only praying for Canada, or the U.S.A. I am praying for both.Back to the vision. I saw this statue, made up of the various metals that Daniel saw, but they represent different things. The gold (the head) represents T.V. America is obsessed with television. No doubt about that. If you need reassurance of this, ask yourself how you have arranged your living room (i call it a living room, but there are various other terms for it). Furniture is arranged in such a way as to maximize viewing from any angle, regardless of where the chair or couch are positioned. A 2009 CRTC survey found that the average person watched 1500 hours of television in 2008. That’s just T.V. (http://www.digitalhome.ca/2009/10/average-canadian-watches-over-25000-tv-commercials-annually/). Media influencers are well aware that “the eyes are the window to the soul.” They have created a dynamic where slowly over the course of time, people have been lured into spending more and more time allowing unholy and unnatural ideas to be put into their minds. Media influencers are counting on the fact that people will spend a lot of time in front of their television sets and so find new ways to circumvent laws put in place to keep these unnatural ideas out of the viewing public’s mind. More on that in just a minute though… The second section in my vision, silver (the chest and arms) represents movies. I probably don’t need to spend as much time on this idea because i think most critically thinking people would agree with me that the standards for rating movies over the course of time had become a disgrace. Walk through your local video store and look at some of the ratings on movies now-a-days. The selection in our local video store is not that vast, but a quick look at the ratings shows that some PG-13 movies today contain “suggestive language,” “sexual content/nudity” etc. Should movies like this not at least have a R rating? I think so. I want to be clear however that in and of themselves, these movies might not necessarily be a bad thing. I recently read a review that you can find here of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by a friend of mine that has me thinking about violence etc. in movies. More on that in just a minute though… The third section in my vision, bronze (the belly and thighs) represents video games. In one of his sermons, Corey Russell says that “we’ve created a nation full of 35-year-old teenagers.” In elaborating his thought, Russell goes on to argue that the video game culture has taking teenagers captive for so long that now there are 35 year-olds who have a hard time thinking and acting critically and responsibly. The video game culture has been going on for so long now (i remember when Nintendo first came out) that it has become okay for anyone aged ten to forty to spend countless hours playing video games (possibly even every day). More on that in just a minute though… The fourth section in my vision, iron (the legs) represents the internet and cell phones. Ours is a culture consumed with “needing” to check our email, update Facebook statuses, check text messages, and spend hours scouring the world-wide web, sometimes for insignificant things that lead to nothing in our lives. More on that in just a minute though… In my vision, the most striking thing that caught my attention though was the final level, the mixture of iron and clay (the feet). The feet are the foundation, the stability. Our feet move us. The thing about feet is that there are two of them, and just as the legs represent two aspects (internet and cell phones), the feet in my vision also represent two aspects: One is the culture of death perpetuated by society, and the other is the culture of sexual perversion perpetuated in our society. If you notice carefully, the above levels all deal with different levels of entertainment. Yes, America’s Idol is entertainment. Ours is a society that feeds off being entertained at all moments of every day. It is a vicious idol and it is consuming people at younger and younger ages all the time. This culture of entertainment is being built on a foundation of death and sex. The culture of death that is being perpetuated includes (but is not limited to) abortion, infanticide, murder, etc. In my vision several television shows came quickly to mind to illustrate this point. Shows like Criminal Minds, CSI’s, and the like, are built on the premise that someone has been murdered and the crime must be solved. Abortion in Canada is not restricted by any laws, meaning that a baby can be aborted right up until time of birth. The U.S.A. at the very least has better laws in place regarding abortion, but they are also not stringent enough. Abortion for many has become acceptable because a pregnancy would “interfere” with life. A baby would be an “inconvenience” and so why not just get rid of the baby before it poses too much of a hassle. Or there are those who argue that the baby may have a health challenge once born, and so why not abort, and save a lifetime of struggle with a child born with down syndrome, etc. The culture of death is all around us in the Western world, and unfortunately media moguls know this all too well, building much of their programming around this facet. The culture of sexual perversion is also rampant in American society. I was recently at a leadership seminar and the keynote speaker made the comment that, “If you want to be unique in society today, wait until marriage to have sex, have more than two children, and stay married to your spouse for life. That is what is unique in society today.” All too often i have heard people say that “you need to take the car for a test drive before you buy it,” in the context of relationships. What they mean is that a couple who is dating should have sex before marriage so they know for sure that they are compatible in bed. Another attitude becoming increasingly popular is the notion of “friends with benefits” or just “hooking up.” This attitude argues that it is okay to have “meaningless” sex with one or more partners over any desired length of time. But the culture of sexual perversion is not limited to how many partners of what kind an individual has, or even the frequency of their sexual acts. The culture of sexual perversion also deals with the act(s) of sex being initiated between couples. To be clear, when i use the word “couples”, i am referring to Christian and non-Christian, heterosexual and homosexual, married or single. No one may be exempt. Stated plainly, the sexually perverse culture has produced an array of varying sexual acts, and some of them are unnatural, even for married couples. In my vision, i saw that America’s Idol is the culture of Entertainment. The foundation for this entertainment is the culture of death and the culture of sexual perversion. But just as in Daniel’s vision, the solution for America’s Idol also came in the vision i had: A praying people who will confess their apathy and compromise, and begin to pray to God for the destruction of the foundation of death and sexual perversion. If a praying people call on God to destroy the foundation, the rest of the idol will fall and crumble, and “Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver, and the gold were crushed together, and became like chaff from the summer threshing floors; the wind carried them away so that no trace of them was found” (Dan. 2:35a). This is not an idol that humankind can defeat on its own strength. It is an idol that will only be destroyed by a nation that has woken up to the reality of the situation, and falls on its knees in surrender to the Most High God. One final note: i am NOT saying that entertainment is inherently bad. I am NOT saying that watching television, playing video games, watching movies, using the internet or a cell phone are evil. That is NOT what i am saying. In moderation i partake of all of these on a regular basis. I watch movies with violence. I am a fan of fake wrestling (the WWE kind) which of course involves fighting. I take part in video games from time to time and use the internet regularly, as well as my cell phone. What i am saying is that so much of the entertainment industry is driven by sex and death that, especially Christians, without even realizing it, ideals and morals have been compromised where they should not have been. I am saying that it is time to raise a new standard. A standard of excellence worthy of the God and King we love. It won’t be a perfect standard, as even in Christian life we are not perfect. A.W. Tozer, in his book The Knowledge of the Holy writes,
“It is my opinion that the Christian conception of God current in these years… is so decadent as to be utterly beneath the dignity of the Most High God and actually to constitute for professed believers something amounting to a moral calamity.”As Christians, it is time to take back the area of entertainment. It is time to fall on our knees and pray that God will intervene and destroy this idol so that “The stone that struck the image became a great mountain and filled the whole earth” (Dan. 2:35b). It is time to reclaim a moral and ethical standard that has been lost over the years. And this can only be done through the power of prayer. Amen.